- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
149

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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NORWAY, AND DENMARK. 119
mo, likewise, that if the people of pnperty had taken
half as much paiiis to extinguish the fire as to preserve
their valuables and furniture, it would soon have been
got under. But they who were not immediately in
danger did not exert themselves sufficiently, till fear,
like an electrical shock, roused all the inhabitants to a
sense of the general evil. Even the fire-engines were
o:it of order, though the burning of the palace ought
to have admonished them of the necessity of keeping
them in constant repair. But this kind of indolence
respecting what does not immediately concern them
seems to characterise the Danes. A sluggish concen-
tration in themselves makes them so careful to preserve
their property, that they will not venture on any
enterprise to increase it in which there is a shadow of
hazard.
Considering Copenhagen as the capital of Denmark
and Norway, I was surprised not to see so much
industry or taste as in Christiania. Indeed, from
everything I have had an opportunity of observing, the
Danes are the people who have made the fewest
sacrifices to the gra
ri
-.
The men of business are domestic tyrants, coldly
immersed in their own affairs, and so ignorant of the
state of other countries, that they dogmatically assert
that Denmark is the happiest country in the world ;
the Prince Royal the best of all possible princes ; and
Count Bernstorff the wisest of ministers.
As for the women, they are simply notable house-
wives ;
without accomplishments or any of the charms
that adorn more advanced social life. This total

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